'Health Care' and the Culture of Death


Bishop Ronald M. Gilmore


Published on the Diocese of Dodge City Website

It has been 37 years since the Supreme Court decision of Roe v Wade, 37 years of sanitized killing, at the rate of more than a million unborn babies a year.  The best estimates are that we have killed nearly 50 million babies since 1973.

Pope John Paul II spoke often of our culture of death, so bent, as it is, on obscuring the truth.  We have allowed it to grow up around us.  We breathe it in every day.  We are all infected by it.  Our eyes glaze over at the numbers, over a million deaths a year, and 50 million in 37 years.  We are too numb morally to understand the simple truth of them.

We are not talking about philosophy here, or religion, or ideology, or right-wing and left-wing views.  We are talking about a scientific fact:  the developing embryo or fetus is a living, growing human being.  That is the scientific fact.  To take that little person’s life is to kill him:  that is the human truth.

For us Catholics we are also talking about what is also a fundamental fact of our faith.  The gift of Revelation tells us that no one has a right to take an innocent life, not at the beginning of life, and not at the ending of life.  For 2,010 years we have taught that human life is sacred from conception to natural death.  That is the religious truth, to be added to the human truth, and to be added to the scientific truth.

There are those who call themselves Catholic who agree with this, and say that they are personally opposed to unjust public policies like abortion.  But they go on to say that they are unwilling to impose their view on the rest of the country.

And look at what they are now poised to do with health care reform.  They cannot bring their particular view into the secular public square, but they have no qualms about using the law to impose another particular view on all the rest of us.  They could be the deciding votes in forcing their fellow Catholics to fund abortion through tax dollars.

As Supreme Knight Carl Anderson recently put it:  While professing that they cannot impose their conscience on anyone else, (they) seem to have little hesitation about imposing an immoral political view – one they claim to oppose in principle – on the conscience of Catholic citizens.

Think of it:  a law that would force millions to violate their conscience by paying their taxes.  What manner of women and men are they that they could do this?  What manner of women and men are we that we could allow them to do this?  Thirty-seven grim years of growing moral numbness have brought us to this unlovely pass.  May the Lord of the Impossible lead us out of it.